Another great post from the author of Beauty Beyond Bones.
This is a must read ! ! ! I wish I could express my thoughts as clearly as this young lady.
Love, Two Ways
Don’t you just love it when God hits you over the head with a message?
haha – That came out a little strange, let me rephrase.
I love it when God not-so-inconspicuously sends you a message, through incredibly obvious coincidences, or reoccurrences, or what have you.
That happened this week.
If you haven’t heard, The Bachelor season premiere was this week. Yes, Pilot Pete met the 30 young women who will be vying to win his heart this winter/spring.
And of course, as your basic millennial, I was glued to my screen, snacks and wine in hand, to watch every glorious second of it.
Now, I know, I know — it’s not really the most altruistic or morally uplifting program I could be watching — but hey, it’s my guilty pleasure, and I love love.
Here’s the thing — typically, after watching the show, I think to myself, how outrageous it is that a man would be “dating” 30 women at once.
But sadly, this time around, — perhaps I’ve become a little jaded from my dating adventures in NYC — but this thought literally crossed my mind: “Well at least the other girls know that he’s dating other women.”
Yeah…welcome to dating in 2020.
But I digress. Table that for a hot second, because the very next day, I went to the Catholic Young Adult’s Mass. It’s this huge gathering of 500+ young people in NYC, and they rent out a bar afterwards for a party. It’s fun, but also, you feel like you’re in this giant fishbowl of men and women desperately looking for their spouse…name tags and all.
Anywho, the priest obviously had some homiletic training, because he knew his audience: his sermon was about dating.
And side note — it was not at all awkward for me to be listening to this, while sitting next to a guy I used to date and broke things off with…
AGAIN! I digress!! What is in the water this morning?!
Sorry — back to the story.
The homily was really powerful, and left a huge impression on my heart, especially given the fact that not 24 hours earlier, I was getting a full blown education on secular society’s idea of love and marriage, evidenced on the Bachelor. So this was just the juxtaposition I deeply needed.
So allow me to just share with you the beautiful take away that I’ve been thinking about ever since.
In a relationship, one of your most important purposes in the partnership, is to challenge your significant other to grow in holiness, and be the best version of themselves that they can be.
And I just thought to myself, Wow – isn’t that a beautiful thing.
And to be honest, that is the message I’ve grown up hearing. My mother — powerhouse wisdom giver — has always instilled in me, that the number one job of a spouse in a marriage, is to get the other person to Heaven.
(Like I said — she’s full of wisdom and knockout one liners!)
But I was struck with how much of a juxtaposition that is compared to say, what we see on The Bachelor. I can’t tell you how many women came out of the limos throwing condoms at him, or inappropriate jokes, or references to things that would make a sailor blush. And I mean, sure – go for that first impression, girl. No judgement here. But like…
Challenging the other to grow in holiness…
What a profound concept.
To be honest, “holiness” is a scary word. It’s so antiquated that you hear it, and your mind instantly goes to like, a cloistered nun, or a monk swinging incense while singing Gregorian chants with his eyes closed.
And in some extreme cases, “holiness” is equated with self-righteousness…we can thank the phrase “holier than thou” for that connotation.
So I’d like to offer another definition:
Holiness is simply pursuing Jesus.
Seeking Him. His heart. His will. Chasing after a deeper relationship. And pursuing His love with all your heart.
Because in doing so, it will inevitably effect your decisions, your words, your thoughts, your behaviors.
Challenging your partner to do that — not only will be eternally beneficial for them and their salvation, but it will keep Christ at the center of your relationship — which as we all know, is the key to a healthy and life long marriage.
And sure – I’m just a single gal, so what do I know. But having witnessed my parents’ beautiful 40+ years of marriage, I can at least say this with the authority of a second hand observer.
All I know is that: I want that. I deeply desire that love. And I do trust that God has it in store for me. He’s preparing my heart, and will let it come to be in His perfect time.
I just have to have patience, and in the meantime, challenge myself to grow in holiness, and fall more deeply in love with Jesus every day.
Which — might not be as flashy as The Bachelor, but when it comes to God, He plays the long game.
What is YOUR best dating or relationship advice? I’d love to hear!!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5